Monthly Archives: September 2014

2014 BC Championship

We almost had 5 races over two days for the BC Fireball Championship at the RVYC Fall Dinghy Championships September 27th and 28th. A good fleet of 29er’s, Lasers, and Laser Radials competed on the outside course at the mouth of Cadboro Bay with nine Fireballs registered. Two boats from Portland, Greg Desilets with Debra Dietch and Paithen Larkins with Isaac Daily braved the Coho Ferry fares to race with us, and Liz Brennan and Neil Tichkowsky jetted in from Calgary to sail my spare boat. Shannon Gallins and Geof Huggett joined from CBSA, while Mark Cummings had to work the weekend so had Nicole and Evelyn sail Eeyore.

Last year’s winners Iain and Paul joined Jamie and Simon and Francis and me from RVYC.

The Cadboro Bay environment can be a bit challenging with tidal currents and light winds. BigWaveDave, the area windsurfer’s website, uses a wind prediction model from the University of Washington’s supercomputer to generate remarkably accurate local forecasts. On Saturday morning, the predicted northerly filled in , bringing a tongue of fog off the beach, with adequate visibility by the noon start time. After little variation in the wind for an hour, the first race was started about one o’clock in a moderate ebb. Courses were windward-leeward with a gate a few yards upwind of the starting area. Jamie and Simon entertained the fleet with a breakdown ahead of the start line, and being flagged over early. The port end of the line was favoured as it let the pin end starters get to the least current soonest. We had a quick start, and made it to the weather mark alone and sailed through to win. Jamie and Simon recovered to seventh, with Liz and Neil finishing on the wrong line and being scored DNC.

The northerly continued for another hour, which gave us a chance to retune Liz and Neil. Two one-inch adjustments got IMPS back to her usual speed and the PRO was Able to wait out the remainder of the northerly and set up a course out into Oak Bay with a light southeasterly. The start was exciting, with Jamie and Simon slamming a tack onto starboard and forcing us to tack on the port-favoured line. A close first hundred yards eventually allowed us to get over them despite a modest luff and we were able to get to the first mark ahead. There was a good supply of floating weed and we picked up a full sea monster kelp after the gate which caused some mirth in the nearby boats. We sailed the second lap with no further misadventure, and won with Jamie and Simon second and the retuned Liz and Neil third. Geoff and Jeff and Shannon and Eric were both fast, and Iain and Paul have spent enough time in Cadboro Bay to sail their classic shape with good speed and strategy. The remaining breeze tapered off while the postponement was flying, and we eventually took a tow back to the club.

Sunday morning was calm and we made our way out to the mouth of the bay to await our start. The northerly filled in and the committee started the club’s long distance race for keelboats out in the current in Oak Bay. We were given the first start in the sequence and had a good race to the weather mark with Shannon and Jamie arriving first. We rounded the wrong gate and set out for the new weather mark as the wind shifted easterly. As we converged on Jamie, the race was abandoned with our fleet a few boat lengths from a possible shortened course.

The marks were repositioned after a while, with a southeasterly breeze and the current turning to a flood. Shannon and Eric got the jump and were leading down to the end of the finishing leg when they were lanced by a starboard tack 29er. Jamie and Simon broke through to finish first while we slipped into second while the 720 was done.

Another race started after the other fleets finished with a good up and down for all. At the gate I tried for the left hand gate and almost didn’t make it as the current set down and the wind eased. Shannon and Eric flew out of the right hand gate and were well ahead but in a line of Lasers. The wind lightened and shifted at the top of the leg, and it wasn’t apparent which side would get that last puff and shift to round first, but it didn’t matter as the race was abandoned again.

We packed the boats up, and managed to get the visitors to planes and ferries on time. There was good close racing through the fleet and good starts were essential. Shannon and Eric in her DeLange boat are very fast in light conditions and downwind. Jamie and Simon’s Winder remains fast and competitive, especially when not filling with seawater. Geoff Huggett is competitive in his widebow woodie, and the rest of the boats all had good speed.

We are going to have to plan around this event for the next season and try to ensure racing that allows us to amortise our ferry fares. Greg Desilets is moving to the Okanagan and will inquire at SOSA, where we have had many enjoyable events, and Liz Brennan has a family cottage on Columbia Lake which could make a good place to race with the Alberta fleet.

Robert Thompson

Fireball International Elections

Upcoming Election

Commodore – .As there are two nominations for the Commodore’s position a vote will be required to determine who will fill the position for the coming three years. The nominees are Joe Jospe (CAN) and Pat Crump (USA)


Joe Jospe (CAN)


Pat Crump (USA)

The election period will be between October 1st and October 30th 2014.

Past Commodore Francois Schluchter has been asked to oversee the process as an independent and will collate the votes.



Here is the position of Joe Jospe and here is the position of Pat Crump.

Other executive positions are:

Rear Commodore Africa – David Laing (South Africa) – Elected Unopposed – David continues on in this position having taken over from Peter Colebank in March this year.  Fireball International would like to thank Peter for the work that he has put in over more than 20 years.

Rear Commodore Asia – Hiroshi Kato (Japan) – Elected Unopposed – Hiro continues on in this position having served several terms.

Rear Commodores Australia & Oceania - Ben Schulz (Australia)  – Elected Unopposed – Ben continues on in this position having served one term.

Rear Commodore North America – Debbie Kirkby (Canada) – Elected Unopposed – Debbie replaces Robert Thompson who has chosen not to stand again after many years in the position. Fireball International would like to thank Robert for the work that he has put in over the years.

Rear Commodore Europe – Jakub Napravnik  (Czech Republic) – Elected Unopposed – Jakub replaces Maja Suter who has chosen not to stand again after many years in the position.  Fireball International would like to thank Maja for the work that she has put in over the years.

FAntastic Nepean FAll REgatta (FANFARE)


FANFARE was the inaugural Ottawa Valley Championship.  Saturday’s racing got underway after a short delay waiting for the wind.  While the first races were sailed in lighter conditions the wind built steadily throughout the day to a solid 15knots with gusts into the 20’s.  Following the 55+ knots registered the previous evening that was a relief.

Joe Jospe and Rob Levy teamed up together and it took them the first race to relearn their crewing skills (whoever was crewing in that race) and Rune Lausten and Pete Van Rossem took the bullet.

Levy/Jospe (or Jospe/Levy) took the next race followed by Rune and Pete.  Unfortunately Pete had to leave to attend a wedding in Kingston and so that was the end of their racing for the day.

Meanwhile Pierre Carpentier and Tom Bird encountered equipment issues and missed the first three races.  Upon their return to the water in Race 4 they promptly showed winning form with a win to begin a comeback that would eventually see them place third in the regatta.

After the traditional Hip of Beef dinner, delayed a little due to a power outage from the previous nights storm, the fleet returned on Sunday to lighter conditions.  Four points separated McEvoy/Faison from Dave Landsberg and Mona Barakat.; Very shifty and dying winds confounded nearly everyone with each boat having apparent moments of glory only to find themselves on the elevator to the bottom of the fleet.  McEvoy and Faison sailed their two drop races in these conditions but recovered to take a second in the final race of the day.  Dave and Mona also had some difficult results which opened the door for Carpentier/Bird and Lausten/Van Rossem to leapfrog them into third and fourth place.

Oh and Jospe and Levy finished in first with equal combinations of firsts and seconds….but Joe who was crewing on Sunday pointed out that he crossed the line first!

Full results are here


2015 North American Championship



Davis Island Yacht Club will host the 2015 North Americans March 9-11, 2015 just prior to the 50th Midwinters.  The NA’s will be a three-day event followed by a layday to allow time to explore the Tampa and Orlando area followed by the 50th Midwinters March 13-15.

Visit the Tampa Tourism site to explore all the things to do in and around Tampa and plan to make this a family vacation in sunny, Gulf Coast Florida.

Here’s all you need to know about the Championship



2015 Midwinters – 50th Annual


The 50th consecutive running of the Fireball Midwinters will take place March 13-15, 2015 at the Davis Island Yacht Club.  It’s doubtful that any class anywhere has been welcomed at the same club for such an extended period of time and the organizers are working hard to commemorate this occasion.  There are rumours that some European boats are planning to attend and participate in this and the North American Championship which will be part of the same week-long celebration of sailing at the “Sailingest Club in the South”

Mark your calendars, book time off, polish off the old boat and plan to be there

Here’s the NOR and for information on things to do in the area visit Tampa Tourism